Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 08, Death Didn’t Become Him

You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.

I'd bet this table lighting setup got re-used as part of Gary's butcher block.

It’s only fitting an episode wholly preoccupied with death, resurrection, and immortality open with a body bag which contains a live Bo, whose immortality creates an interesting paradox between herself and those she loves.

Also, who complains the body bag smells like feet.

Lauren sneaks Bo into Nadia’s secret chamber because she’s worried her story strains credulity. In explaining this, she makes assumptions Bo cares about her. Bo doesn’t blink, because of course she deeply cares for Lauren; by this point, this is obvious to not only their close friends and enemies, but to total strangers. The Lich will assume they are lovers, and again stands uncorrected. They can’t be lovers in the carnal sense at the moment, what with the inconvenience of Lauren’s compound confinement, but this episode confirms they want to get past one-and-dones and get down to the messy business of relationshiping.

Just a few things stand in their way. Lachlan, thick stone walls, and oh yes a beautiful girlfriend in a five-year coma. The scene of showing your current paramour your unconscious girlfriend’s biodome could be really creepy, but manages to be sweet and vulnerable. Lauren is ever-so-gradually learning she can open up to Bo, and she’s also having to trust Kenzi and Dyson with her predicament. Trust is – for obvious reasons – something she has issues with. Unlike the Kenzi/Bo Bo/Dyson Dyson/Kenzi instabonds, she doesn’t trust anyone immediately and has a hard time doing so implicitly. Whether this is because of her interaction with the Fae or whether it’s a long-standing personality trait/self-defense mechanism is yet unclear, but it’s definitely a formidable thing to get over. This is one positive step, forced though it may be.

For her part, Bo acts as one imagines one hopefully would if in this situation: say something complimentary, don’t say too much, offer support.

Red caged lights are everywhere this episode. (Check the final picture as well.)

Bo’s an opportunist, so when her Case Of The Week seems to call for a little science, she jumps at the chance to bring Lauren in. Dyson acquiesces, putting his ass on the line to bring his old flame and her current flame together under intense emotional circumstances. Assuming he knows nothing about Nadia (a safe assumption), this is the middle of Dyson’s arc of epitomizing the parts of chivalry he should want to keep; he’s ditching jealousy, possessiveness, and chauvinism for selfless acts of valor and chivalry.

Bo and Dyson are made better Fae by loving and being loved, specifically by Lauren and Ciara, but also Kenzi and in some ways Hale and Tamsin. I’ll get into this more later (some of Bo’s specifics at the end of this review), but you can see distinct negative changes in Bo and Dyson when they’re together or with someone like Ryan or Cayden or Chick of the Week.

In order to free himself up for this case, Dyson maneuvers sweet-talking Hale into being security for the Glaive’s bratty daughter, Tori. Kenzi is captivated by the allure of a rich kid, but also the fun of breaking Tori’s accompanying instructions. Thus, Hale in turn sucks Kenzi in, which makes things both easier and harder for him. Smooth as he can be, sometimes he lacks basic situation reading skills.

Kenzi and Tori run all over Hale, and he (and they) can’t figure out which rules should be broken and which are there for protection. Thankfully the plot doesn’t soften Tori to the easy ‘teenager put-upon by parents breaks the rules and finds herself;’ instead, Tori ends the tale still a total brat, still looking at Kenzi as a commodity or fun pet, and Kenzi’s freewheeling ways present consequences. This plot is mostly to keep Hale and Kenzi out of the way, while presenting a handy addition to the life/death balance the episode is covered in.

Lit tables are the best. Really dig this whole scene, actually.

The Glaive’s daughter seems to be dead, but comes back to life. The Lich is consumed with obtaining not only experiences, but immortality, and so resurrects skilled artisans as empty shells. Gary robs graves and butchers the dead or literally eats himself up when he can’t find other sustenance. Bo is shot and recovers by sucking the Lich’s life force from his vessels. The only mortal, Lauren, is saved from the brink of dying and either being eaten or resurrected to live as a zombie. (I’m unclear on which. As seen by the Lich eating the caretaker and the entire character of Gary, eating human flesh has long been believed to give the eater immortality and/or supernatural powers. But, the Lich also seemed interested in Lauren’s super-doctoring ability, and he doesn’t have a physician in his repertoire. It could go either way.)

Humans are generally preoccupied with life/death/immortality cycles, so it makes sense Fae would be. Sci-fan shows can be a fantastic to explore these themes, both because the options are fairly limitless and because the consequences can be as well. Like Buffy (especially “Forever,” “Conversations With Dead People,” and the “Bargaining” through “Once More With Feeling” arc), Lost Girl lands on the side of ‘once you go, you can never come back the same.’ The Lich resurrects husks so he can experience their essence, but the shadows of what they once were long for the release of death.

Despite all his experiences, the Lich will always need more. He wants to feel the unbridled passion of a succubus feed. Bo refuses. Her unwillingness to feed off Lauren is framed by the Lich as self-serving – why won’t you kill your lover gently, rather than watch me kill her painfully? – but Bo has come to a place where she refuses to kill and understands she can’t relapse. (She’s yet to fully face her guilt from former kills, but that comes in two episodes.) So the Lich holds a knife to Lauren’s throat, the music gets more intense, and the show kind of cheats.

This must've been a doozy to light.

I say ‘cheats’ because the solution doesn’t come from within the situation, anything foreshadowed in the episode, or anything demonstrated as potential before. I say ‘kind of’ because both Trick and Lauren have suggested Bo could be more powerful than anyone dreamed, and because the show will carry the ideas of reflexive chi-sucking (with both Bo and Aife) and Dark Bo forward from here.

After sucking the Lich’s chi from all his vessels, Bo resurrects Christof temporarily. When she tries to breathe chi back into the other vessels, they’ve nothing to live for, so she mercy DNRs them, instead.

Christof returns to Donny for what every lover wants; a few more hours. Dyson comes in to wrap up the Tori B-plot, which in several episodes will appear as a nice set up for Bo’s future run-in with the Glaive. Lauren and Bo, for no reason other than the set was lit, go back to talk about Nadia over Nadia’s unconscious body.

Lauren has finally opened up, made herself vulnerable. She introduced Bo to Nadia. She’s sneaking around behind the Ash’s back for both her girlfriends. She told Bo – in a scene as intimate as any the two have had – how difficult the past few years have been, and how much Bo means to her. She finally voices the question, is Bo really ok with this, or will this end their friendship? Bo confirms it won’t. She’s being unselfish, determined to help save Nadia even though she understands what that means for her: no more Lauren.

Even when she was solidly with Dyson, Bo has liked knowing that Lauren was always in the wings. She hasn’t always acted like Lauren’s feelings were important (remember that loud sex right above where Lauren was baking cupcakes and fearing for her life), but Lauren was always in the back of her mind. After making the motions of unselfishness about Nadia and struggling with anger and jealousy, Bo now means it when she expresses anger at whoever cursed Nadia.  It’s the same reason Dyson is not only helping Lauren out of the compound, but putting his neck on the line without bitching. Dyson wants Bo to be with Lauren because it makes her happy (which he’ll explicitly state in 3.01), Bo wants Nadia to wake up because it will make Lauren happy.  They’re both figuring out when you love someone, you want what they want, you want the best for them. They’re both figuring it out, ironically but sensically, when they’re not with each other.*

It’s this display of love from Bo, and her own realization she loves Bo (which she’ll voice two episodes from now) but is finally actually going to get Nadia back and thus lose Bo, which drives Lauren to kiss Bo as desperately as she ever has when there was a genuine chance of death. Literal resurrection for one lover means figurative death for the other. And so, in the echoing white chamber which set dressing forgot, the whole episode is fittingly concluded with a kiss.

A succubus/human kiss while standing next to the yet-to-be-resurrected girlfriend is more than only “hunger, lust, the power to kill,” as the Lich says, but a symbol intertwined with the very essences of life, death, and love. In every way, it completes the episode cycles.

How would you like to be that extra, lying very still while this was going on?

Stray Observations

– Nadia lies in a Snow White coffin, but her Prince Charming is a Princess. #fuckyeahgenderreversal

– Have you and your partner talked about what happens if one of you falls into a coma? Can the conscious one incur additional partner(s)? What happens if the coma-faller wakes up, do you just add one to the equation, or does the incurred partner move on? Is there a time limit, say three weeks/months/years, before you start shopping around? Have these conversations. Public Service Announcement over.

– *Yes, Dyson and Bo are both going to digress big time in the middle of S3. Sometimes humanity/Faemanity sucks.

– The Lich puts his chi into a ‘phylactery:’ a Really Important Vessel obviously named by a dude.

– Though he’s Egyptian, even the Lich knows put-on airs should be French.

– The harpsichord as diagetic music. That’s how it’s done.

– “It’s coffee! You drink it when you’re sitting in a cafe pretending to write a novel.”

Did you seriously think I'd get through this review without at least one picture of this?

Comments
9 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 08, Death Didn’t Become Him”
  1. Torque says:

    Wonderful, wonderful review as always – thank you. I never thought of the life/death dichotomy that every character was going through this episode – makes it even more special and beautiful.

    One thing you have trained me to do is hover over the pictures and read your comments. Athena Karkanis was actually credited within this episode, so would it be plausible that she was the ‘extra’ lying in the futuristic coffin bubble thing?

    • Melanie says:

      If she’s credited, it’s almost certain. Great catch! (The only other real possibility for her being credited would be being in a scene which was cut, which for this episode makes no sense.) I love they were method enough to actually have the actress there, even though we see only the soles of her feet.

    • Melanie says:

      It’d also be more expensive, and we don’t see her again for another 4 episodes. I’d be willing to bet they shot all the coma-tomb shots from various episodes at once; Lauren talking to Nadia, Lauren and Bo talking over Nadia, then Nadia waking up. One day on this particular set, all the actresses at once, done and done.

      • Torque says:

        Great point! I absolutely love your insights as to what goes on behind the scenes while shooting something. Crazy Lauren interacts with a shot of Nadia in the pod (on a computer screen) in 2×09, but Athena Karkanis was not credited for that episode. Could they have filled in that shot later, used an extra, or had ZP film that particular scene later on to interact with the shot?

        (also, Thank you for including a shot of the most wonderful abs in the creation of ever in your review)

        • Melanie says:

          Yep, any of the above. And though contracts can always be more specific, if they’d filmed it as b-roll/additional coverage when AK was on set, then they generally wouldn’t have to credit her; same as if Crazy Lauren/Reynard had gone to Lauren and Nadia’s apartment and seen a picture of the two. If it was extensive footage or additional footage filmed later, (say Reynard watching an old video of Nadia), AK would’ve been credited.

          Also, you are always welcome.

  2. vexundorma says:

    This episode was a game changer in the mythological construct of the show. Lauren suggested in 2.03 that Bo might be “more powerful and unique than anyone’s ever given her credit for” but the Bo that emerges in this episode is way outside anything she (or the viewers) could imagine. Queen!Bo, I’ll call her this for the lack of a better term, proclaiming to be the mightiest of the fae and eraser of the Light and Dark divide has nothing to do with the power and uniqueness Lauren anticipated – the awe and astonishment in her face tells the whole story – but more than likely has everything to do with Trick and Dyson expectations.
    Almost at the beginning of 1.01 Trick and Dyson have a little chat about Bo that ends like this:
    DYSON: Female, out-of-towner, unannounced… Awfully friendly with humans.
    TRICK: It’s beginning then.
    DYSON: I can try and stop this. I’m not gonna kill her, but there are ways of making someone disappear.
    TRICK: No. What’s meant to be must be. We can’t fight fate.
    DYSON: Well, you can. What do you want me to do?
    TRICK: Watch and wait. I’ll help how I can when the time comes.
    From the very first moment they both know who Bo is and what role she’s supposed to play (a knowledge that apparently eludes almost all other fae) in a future definitive moment. It is clear by this snippet that Trick is the voice of command, that he wants Bo to play that role (his silence to Dyson’s statement that he can change the future is telling) and perhaps anticipates something like Queen!Bo as a necessary requirement. And they’ll both proceed to lie, obfuscate, distort, hide or reveal facts or information as needed to steer Bo in the expected direction.
    Lou Ann, the fae prisoner on death row in 1.08, also clearly knows who Bo is (“you’re the Foundling”) and probably knows something about her future role. My personal read of the last scene between her and Trick is of a tactical move he makes to remove a source of untimely information for Bo, taking full advantage of the circumstances – Bo and Kenzi will thought her dead and cease to look for her and only him and Dyson will know she’s alive, her silence as a guarantee of protection from the Dark. Trick and Dyson are presented as shady characters with unclear intentions, and whenever the show allows the viewers to perceive this facet they become interesting characters.
    I don’t think the show ‘cheated’ in this episode, to use the reviewer words, but I think the show will ‘cheat’ in the possible grossest manner if this initial talk between Trick and Dyson and all its implications is conveniently forgotten to paint a nice face on both.
    As for the Lich he is, for me, one of the most interesting faes that appeared on the show because he is one of the very few that realized a very long life needs more than a dull repetition of the same days and ways to have meaning. He went for knowledge, and was called a weirdo; I think there’s a metaphor somewhere in here.

    • Melanie says:

      I say ‘kind of’ cheats, and then expound – my definition of cheating is a deus ex machina, which this clearly is.

      Just because a show cheats doesn’t mean it’s bad; I admire cheating done well, and I mention Lauren’s talk of Bo’s unparalleled powers, as well as Trick’s various comments, but none of them come close to foreshadowing this particular instance, and nothing is added to them to support this particular appearance of power. Even seeing Aife chi-suck two people at once, for example, or hearing Trick say she could, would be more foreshadowing.

      But they do continue the Queen!Bo idea, as you say. Though back-engineering or lampshading doesn’t negate a deus ex machina, it does convince me they meant to introduce this element, they just also conveniently used it to solve this little dilemma. (Another way they could have done it, of course, was get to the Tori-appears-dead-Hale-remembers-Lich part sooner in the episode, and have Hale and Kenzi rush in and save the day. But sidekicks saving the day would kill the inferiority complex the two are developing, AND it would greatly detract from the death and resurrection themes, so despite it being more organic to the episode than this solution, I like this better.)

      It’s not wrong to judge a show by things they say in their very first episode, but many shows will change tone, characterization, and plot points thereafter, either for the network, for the ratings, or because of some divergence. While 1.08 was what sold the show, (and ‘The Foundling’ as a title hasn’t been mentioned since; I’d actually forgotten it happened), and 1.01 is what set everything else up, and it’s not unusual to deviate from the pilot(s) a bit. They’ve so far jettisoned some of the deeper indications of the episode’s most ominous exchanges, though I think S4 is going to bring them out in force.

      The ‘well, you can’ implications of Dyson’s aside are of course meant to refer to Trick’s position as the Blood King, which is fraught with implications. While Dyson and Kenzi consistently push for Trick to use his powers, he always resists, which is what his silence here implies. He doesn’t want to use his blood because it always ends badly, *specifically for him.*

      I never read Trick as anything but a Machiavellian power figure, which is why I compare him to Lachlan, and why I enjoy him as a character. He certainly exhibits various elements of all the dark triad personality traits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad). Even his use of blood to ‘help’ others is hardly painted as anything but self-serving; to save his kingdom, to save face, to save his trump card (Bo), to expunge guilt over what he did to Aife, etc. I don’t think the show *has* painted a nice face on him at all. For example, of course he trades a treasured possession to save Kenzi; he knows without Kenzi, Bo will likely go rouge again. That may be a cynical reading, but I stick to it, and love the show all the more for it.

      As for Dyson, he starts as Trick’s foot soldier, but he slowly learns (through Bo and Ciara, and I hope they really leverage the Kenzi angle in the upcoming season with her desire to go Fae and Dyson realizing that’s a terrible idea) that the ideals and societal constructs and King he’s blindly following are wrong. It took him a long time to reject his fealty to his first King, and I think eventually he’ll come to the same crisis as he did before, whether to reject his allegiance to Trick or stand by it. To a very small extent, he’s already done so, when he gave Trick the ultimatum, “tell Bo or I will.” Trick is clearly using Dyson in S1, and still has him fairly solidly in his pocket, but we’ll see whether Dyson stays there. Dyson has his own redemption arc, though it’s more a sine wave, and he insists on backsliding.

      I find your read on the end of 1.08 interesting. Though I had considered it, I lean another way. Whether Lou Ann comes back to play a role later, she certainly doesn’t have to, and Trick seems to already have the information from her he could want. Leaving her dead would be the same as having everyone think she is. Thus, he’s using Lou Ann the same way he uses his blood in 1.13; as a way to expunge past guilt over what he did to Aife / what he’s doing (or considering doing) with Bo. It also somewhat salvages him in the eyes of a Dyson who was losing faith in him, and could potentially do the same in the eyes of Bo. If she ever gets really angry about his past injustices he could pull out “Oh, yeah? Well I saved Lou Ann! So I’m totes the good guy here.” It’s just another way for him to present himself as savior, without really doing anything greatly significant or telling the truth. (Not to make light of someone’s life; simply, within the Fae system, an individual life is not meaningful, especially considering Trick’s past.)

      The Lich is indeed incredibly fascinating. “He went for knowledge, and was called a weirdo,” may be a sly aside towards people who sneer at academics, but I think the fact he literally eats people and violates dead bodies to have his fun is a bigger problem so far as people who obtain knowledge/power/longevity at any cost. And I don’t know about a very few; I think Trick’s vocational changes (especially a barkeep) mark his way to pass the time, Dyson’s roving and hunting, Hale’s womanizing, and Olivia and Samir’s and the bacchus from Faes Wide Shut (as well as Trick’s collection of keys there) suggest they all find fairly pleasurable ways to spend their time. As far as guest fae, though, other than the aforementioned and perhaps the Brownie, most of them don’t really have much point other than kill/eat/live another day.

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  2. […] the series, such as the staging of Bo’s big feed very obviously similar to when she fed from the Lich and his animated lackeys. There are some other basic yet effective devices like using the cage bars to break the screen up […]



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